CCS like many elementary schools in the state has a reasonably creative curriculum that has some unexpected gaps . The math program is disjointed and not rigorous and the science program (with the exception of the 5/6 program) is almost non existent. There are some great teachers who do a wonderful job and there are a very high number who are approaching retirement and have either checked out or do the exact same thing year in and year out. There are some significant issues with the 7/8 grade program in terms of the rigor (especially in math and science) and getting students prepared for high school. There have also been some concerns with behavior in the middle school (which the school is addressing). The school does prepare students well for state tests but some teachers spend a significant amount of time doing so. Great parent involvement due to the working nature of the community.
Such a great community in Charlotte, that I have been so surprised at what a disappointment CCS has been for us. In Kindergarten, during the half day portion of the year, they would only go out for recess once or twice a week. There were no 'units' in kindergarten, only the parent directed Four WInds program, so no themes or sections on the world or science (i.e. dinosaurs, space, plants, US Map). Plus, there is no show and tell or plays put on by the kids. It's so uninspired! The teachers seem to be struggling with class size and just do just what's required, and even have a hard time with that. I am really hoping 1st grade offers more. Other parents have assured me it gets better after kindergarten, but what a terrible way to introduce families to your school with such an unimpressive first year. This experience coupled with the failing of the bond vote twice really concerns me. I hope the new principal will step up and get these checked out teachers back on track, and reward those teachers who work hard to reach every kid and inspire learning.
I would agree that CCS has great support systems for any child who needs academic support. My daughter was given a reading tutor every day even without an IEP, 504 or EST plan. The school is in transition now with two new administrators, major constructions and a new math curriculum on the horizon, and the budget went down (twice) this year for the first time in anyone's memory. So it remains to be seen how this will all pan out, but my 1st grader loves school!
One of the best schools (public or private) in the state. Excellent teachers, low student/teacher ratios, foreign language beginning in kindergarten, very responsive and proactive approach with kids struggling academically.
I have three kids at CCS and it is a fabulous school. We moved from Burlington, Vermont to Charlotte specifically for the schools. When my elementary school children attended public school in Burlington, they were top of their class. Imagine my surprise when two of my children starting school in Charlotte and were actually a bit behind! Not to worry since CCS provided daily extra support, such as working with a reading specialist on a one on one basis. Within a year, both kids had caught up. The teachers and principal are great. There is also a real sense of school community. Of course, taxes are high, but they are everywhere in Vermont. Personally, I'm happy to pay an extra few hundred bucks a year in property tax for outstanding schools. BTW, the schools in Burlington, where taxes are still high, are substandard at best and annually deemed to be 'failing.'